Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon doesn’t seem to be letting the Emmy nomination for Season 3 go to his head.
In a recent profile in Emmy Magazine, the nominee talked about how he’s already planning to change up the writing process for Season 4 (and beyond), to ensure the underdog-turned-cultural-phenomenon never loses its touch.
And spoiler alert: expect the unexpected.
“It’s a show that can literally go anywhere and do anything. It has a boundless margin for nihilism; in other words, you can’t go too far. Not only narratively, but also tonally, there is nothing off the table for the show,” he said.
Season 3, for instance, stayed true to the core of the show — while also innovating beyond it with more serialized and emotionally intelligent storytelling.
Harmon says he hopes to create more opportunities for Season 4 to grow in different ways, especially because Adult Swim ordered 70 more episodes, which means they’ll have to get more and more creative.
The Community creator became well known for the TV writing formula he calls the Story Circle. But now, Harmon appears to be leaning more toward a wild west methodology that’s more of deconstruction of that style if anything.
Straying away from the rigidity of a formalized A and B story structure, he wants to instead focus on what get everyone laughing in the writers room — and then build a story around that. The Emmy profile describes how the team will “develop, nurture and cultivate ideas, moments, conversations, jokes, stories, premises and swaths of dialogue, with no emphasis on any one aspect over another.”
It sounds a little closer to how the team has approached Interdimensional Cable episodes, where structure is set aside to give way to a more free-wheeling improvisational tone.
Harmon also touted his emphasis on what he calls “following your bliss” — which means chasing down what people love to do and trusting that good things will flow from that. That’s what they did with the initial pitch for Rick and Morty, and that worked out pretty well.
“The last thing I want is to be the guy who makes Rick and Morty sterile,” Harmon said. “We need to keep it fresh and continue to innovate.”
Not much else is known about the 70 more episodes recently ordered by Adult Swim, but with a show like Rick and Morty, we can be sure it’ll be a wild fucking ride.